Monday, June 30, 2008

Speed Bumps

Speed Bumps of life…find the hidden moments in your day and make use of them.
"Behind every cloud there burns a brilliant sun waiting to shine down on you to help you make the most out of every living second." ~joni

Do you know why speed bumps are placed in the road? It is to make us slow down, and take notice of what we are doing.

It is wise for writers (new and old-timers) to place speed bumps in their writing life. Maybe you run around too much, can’t find time to write, dream of writing but for some reason beyond your control you can’t seem to find time? Maybe this is a good time to say, "Hold on there pardna." And slow down! Place a speed bump in your writing career.

I read some peoples work that looks too rushed and hurried, to where you can’t make one bit of sense out of it. Does a polished piece have the look of a woman who has just had an overactive night of sleeping and wakes to find her hair standing on end? It shouldn’t.

A polished piece of work looks like a well-shined shellac floor, almost perfect. (I say almost perfect because even a well-shined shellac floor has imperfections.) Taking the time to slow down causes you to organize your time where you make the most well thought out decisions of where your piece might go, how will you go about it and most of all how it will read to others.

When I present my work to others, I never give a rough draft. And if for some crazy reason I have asked my peers to look at my rough draft, I tell them right up front that it is an extremely rough draft. Writer’s and their workshops understand that, but editor’s don’t. They expect a polished piece. One that has already gone through the ranks and rigors of a workshop or an excellent editing tool that you have.

By placing a speed bump in the road to writing, you are not only taking a longer glance at your writing habits but also showing respect for your craft. You can’t bring to the table a meal that has the ABC look (already been chewed.) No way! You want to bring to the table a plate that looks like it was designed by a professional chef with all the fancy trimmings.

A speed bump gives you time to slowly look over your work, make it shine and bring forth a delectable treat good enough for the elite to bask in and savor. The bottle of Dom Perignon is for the acceptance you feel when everyone is pleased with all your time and hard work. Believe me, it pays off in the end!

Now what are you waiting for? Place the speed bump in your road to writing, get organized, prioritize and know that a delectable meal with fine wine awaits you at the end of the day!

"To hear a clock tick means that it is slowly making its way through a day. Make every second count." ~joni

Sunday, June 29, 2008


A Second Chance!

Okay, we’ve learned that we are passionate about writing, we know what it is going to take (persistence) we know that in the end we’ll have a polished story ready for submission. Now what do we do from here?

Well, we go over our work and fix it up for the editor. Hand him/her a polished piece of art so he can show it to the world and be proud of the choice they made in deciding to pick YOUR story for publication. But suppose they reject it?

Oh dear, I think this is what all writers fear the most and that is the face of rejection. For some reason a rejection from an editor makes us feel like somehow we’ve failed. That is what rejection has stood for all these years whether a parent rejects you, a boyfriend or anyone for that matter rejects you, you drink it down like a dose of failure. It has slapped you in the face and there is no medicine for the cure when you’re a writer. (There is no medicine PERIOD for rejection.)

When one strives so hard to succeed, we feel like failure has come over us like a dark soggy cloud draping its gloom over our head in the mirror of rejection. But as writer’s we NEED rejection. We need to be told that our work just isn’t up to par so we can work to make it better.
When a parent says, "Your best isn’t good enough." We will run and hide in our bedrooms and linger in self-doubt for ages, UNLESS we say to ourselves "My best IS good enough, but I can do even BETTER!"

This is what writer’s do when an editor tells them their work isn’t what they need. We writer’s seek out who DOES need our story, we make it so perfect that it squeaks like vinyl! Shiny and perfect our work is handed to the right person, at the right time, and is taken out of our hands and fed to the world like an ant on sugar. It has been bitten, liked, and now published.

Our walls become a place tacked with the art of rejection. With each new note, our collage grows and soon the entire wall is covered in rejection notes. But instead of looking at the wall as a wall of failure, see it as opportunity! It is a wall of chances to do better!

How many times do you think that a football player (or any sports player) said to themselves, "If I only had one more shot, just one more chance?" They don’t get the second chance that writer’s get. Their shot or play is FINAL! But in the writing world, rejection slips are our SECOND CHANCE!

So what are you waiting for? We’ve eliminated the fear, now on to our next rejection!

Happy Second Chances!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A Writer Reads...before he writes

Writer’s are adament readers before they become affluent writer's!

If you are a writer, you didn’t just stumble upon the idea one day and dream it into existence. You had to begin somewhere. More than likely you were young, took a liking to reading and thought that maybe YOU could be a writer too!

I started with poetry at a very young age. The passion inside never left as I waltzed through life trying on different fields of color, never coming up with anything of substance except my love of writing. I wrote in journals, in notebooks then I moved onto the computer.

My life took on a whole new world where my imagination not only lived but soared above the skies, floated through the clouds, landing gently on a piece of paper. Where I once had lived in the mind of Alice (in wonderland) or through Gem’s mischievous ways (To Kill a Mockingbird) or dappling into the unknown with Eleanor (Haunting of Hill House.) I was now writing stories of mystery and intrigue through a child’s eyes, (Jenny’s Plight) or through a ghost who loved her tenant, (The Haunting of Mrs. Willowby.)

Writing stemmed from many years of reading. Continuing in my reading I also interlocked with educating myself not only in the craft of writing but also the art of writing.
Writing as an art form should not be overlooked. Making words stream together like a gentle river or a rapid stream, you can form a story and make a masterpiece of something so simple as language.

Read, educate, write, produce; writing will then become to you all the doorways it holds for me. I can do your homework for you and list the many books out there to help you attain your dream but it is much more fun to dig and find them yourself. is loaded with Creating Fiction, Shaping the Story and many other books to start you on your lifelong journey with your love of writing. (or you can go to your local library and dig too.)

Come on, what are you afraid of? Become a writer. Read your heart out and gain knowledge and smell the sweet aroma of success. If not for anyone, do it for YOU!

Reading is to the writer, what the sun is to the earth, the sustenance of life. ~joni

Friday, June 27, 2008


Submission Time is upon us...

Now that we’ve written the story, we’ve workshopped it with fellow writer’s (or revised it five times to make it perfect) and now we feel it is ready to submit!

First you will search out markets for your work. I would look specifically for where you think your piece of work is going to fit in. Don’t send a child’s story to an erotic magazine, and whatever you do don’t send a teen pregnancy story to a sports editor. In other words, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

Most publications offer online guidelines for you to follow. It is of the utmost importance that you FOLLOW these guidelines right down to the line. Word for word, check what each one wants and expects from you, the writer.

If they accept 2,000 words, do not think that ONE WORD over the limit is allowed. It isn’t. Don’t surmise that it will look better in a fancy font. It won’t to their eyes! If they ask for 12 pt. Times New Roman , then by all means that is what you will deliver to them.

A lot of times they accept email submissions but in a rtf. format. Again, DO YOUR HOMEWORK and find out what a rtf. format IS. It is a Rich Text Format that makes the work of the editor much easier, and often times that is why they request your story in that format.

Sometimes they want your story in the body of an email, that is what they want, and that is what you will send them. If they want Snail Mail with a S.A.S.E (Self addressed stamped envelope) It is your job to deliver the goods in the form that they require.
You want them to read your work not toss it in the bin. If you fail to adhere to simple guidelines, maybe you aren’t ready to be a serious writer.

Now we’ve submitted, what’s next? Well my friend this is where you will need all the patience of a monk. This is where you wait. My advice? Forget you sent it in and when the acceptance comes in the mail (or rejection) you can say to yourself, "I forgot I even sent that story out!"

But we all know that you will have already made a file for where (and to whom) you’ve submitted and WHEN you’ve submitted. And more than likely you will look at it every day and wind up becoming a nail-biter before the "You’ve Got Mail" voice arrives with an acceptance or rejection.

Sit back, have a drink (preferably green tea) and wait…and wait…and wait some more!
Nooooooo, you start a NEW STORY! That’s what we writer’s do while we wait! Then we have submissions and works in progress going at all times so that we truly DO forget where and when and who and what we’ve sent out into the world. (I’m kidding)

Always have a record of your work! And don’t forget to BACK UP your files! You never know when the great power outage will sweep across America, and at least YOU will have a copy of all of your work!

Or…you can just BLOG!

Write on!

It is okay to be planted, but it is so much nicer when you bloom! ~joni

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Write it, read it, revise it ….

Okay now we know that we WANT to be a writer, the passion has been fired up and we’re ready to roll, now what? Well your first step is to write something. What? Where do I get idea’s? That’s the easy part. All across the internet you can find writing prompts some good, some not so good, and some daggone awful!

Writing prompts are simple sentences or pictures that you look at and write, let’s say 500 words or less. You then expand on those five-hundred words that you wrote to make it either a fictional short story, if you’re lucky it may become a novel, or maybe even a non-fiction article idea will surface. Note that not all prompts will elucidate a creative writing tale. This is why you need the discipline to do many many exercises and prompts! (but you’re a writer, you can handle it.)

You’ve written the words now what? Well, you need to read them, OUT LOUD! I can’t emphasize this one enough! When you read your work out loud (it’s okay, no one will think you’re crazy) you will HEAR what is wrong in the sentence structure, the dialogue or the paragraph. Take note of what you’ve noticed. Is it clumsy? Is the dialogue not sounding believable enough? Is that comma giving you a problem?

I always use my MSWord to do my work with. On occasion when the computer isn’t available (usually for poetry) I actually use the old-time pen and paper. Either way I have a yellow highlighter within my reach. (MSWord has one or there is one in my hand.)

Now we’ve written our words, have them compiled into what looks like a possible story, now what do I do? It is time to let it rest (for a day at least) then we come back to it and revise it.

What is a revised piece of work? It is where you’ve gone over it with a fine-toothed comb, highlighted all the spots that are not working out for you and you fix them!

Please be diligent and check for spelling errors. Grammatical errors can be picked out by your group, but not taking the time to FIND your spelling errors (sorry MSWord won’t do the work for you) makes you appear to be either a hurried writer or a lazy writer.

It is helpful if you have a study group (there are many online writing study groups or at your local library.) Writer’s Village University is a wonderful source for my inspiration. You might find another one useful to you. Maybe you seek out in-depth student/instructor assistance? Maybe you desire a one-on-one mentor? Whichever you choose for the writer in YOU is what will work best for you.

Now get writing! Do your best and make it shine!

Within every writer is a magical world just waiting to be explored. Remember that Columbus didn’t discover America just by looking out at the sea! ~Joni

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Write to Choose?

Does one choose to become a writer?

I’m thinking it is inbred in our being, becoming a heat seeking missile erupting feverishly if we never call upon it into existence.

Why become a writer?

Is that the write question we need to be asking? What called you to become a writer?
Again this is assuming that people who have never written, never felt the churning inside, just educate themselves because ‘becoming’ a writer looks like fun?

I don’t think so.

I think that no matter what career you chose in life, whatever path you were headed down as a profession, if you were meant to be a writer, it surfaces like a volcano. The volcano was standing right there all along, you saw it but you never REALLY bothered with it because it never bothered you. Volcano is the perfect metaphor because as a writer you feel it simmering. You’re going through life…a cashier, a nurse, an accountant, but then you feel the simmering brewing like a fresh pot of coffee.

It begins with a low bubbling, you think to yourself, "I’d like to write for my colleagues." Or "The pastor has asked ME to write in the newsletter!"
Whatever the case may be, the volcano erupts in a frenzy and you find yourself pursuing the art of writing.

I myself have always written cards, since I was a kid. I never gave much thought to ‘becoming a writer.’ I had teachers tell me how nice my work was, I had family that loved my poems but as a ‘chosen’ field. Nah, not for me. So I went aimlessly in search of something that maybe I COULD do! I helped the elderly, took on menial jobs (slave labor), cleaned houses, attended beautician school (for a short lived term), still I wandered and wondered what is it, what is this CHURNING inside!

Then I dug into the anthill. "What is YOUR job?" I asked the ants as they scurried out of the mountain of sand. They didn’t respond (Thank God) but they did show me something.
They climbed the mountain of sand, all in a row they marched like little soldiers, never cutting in front of the other, just content to be going all in the same direction. I watched as their little world HAD direction. (Aha, I need direction!) They carried (I should say lugged) food into the anthill. (Aha, I need nourishment!) They came marching down the anthill as if trudging to war. War with the enemy (seasons.) But it wasn’t war at all that kept them moving it was determination! (Aha, I need determination)

So late in the seasons of my life, something called out. (no it wasn’t the ants) The churning volcano inside erupted into a cataclysmic frenzy and smacked me so hard in the face it was not to be ignored.

So here I am. Not CHOOSING to be a writer. I don’t seek fame and fortune. I don’t seek the all empowering Great American Novel. Writing chose me! Something more powerful than the ants, more powerful than anything science can explain, more powerful than any deliciously well-prepared thought out meal with all the RIGHT ingredients.

The mountainous volcano has a natural flow (like the ants) Did you ever watch a volcano erupt? It erupts in colorful molten lava, (like writing erupts in the soul?) Then the hot lava begins its way down the path of creation (just like the writer creates) making fissures along the way. (A writer opens many worlds in these fissures.) As the lava flows it weaves a sinuous impression on the earth. (Just like the writer leaves an impression.)

Soooooooo my longwinded point being… Once I knew I needed direction, I aimed myself toward the moon. (A GOAL) I fed myself all the information I needed to get me going down the right road. (Nourished mySELF) Then I bathed in determination! Everything has fallen into place all on its own. Always has and always will.

Just remember…"Everything happens for a reason. For every season of your life may your branch extend into the groping sunshine and cast an effervescent light upon you to give you clarity. Then maybe you can BLOOM!" ~~ Joni's quote! ;-)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Embrace the Storm

Embracing the Storm… as a new writer

As a new writer there are a few mistakes you just might make. (We all make mistakes, sure, but to the newbie here is one thing you might want to keep an eye out for.)

Let’s say you want to write an article. You may at first want to try sounding too smart for the reader of the magazine/ezine/newspaper (or God forbid, the editor). By sounding too smart I mean using convoluted sentence structure or complicated words. This will have you either making a fool of yourself or worse cause the reader to put your article/story down, and quick.

Then there is the time when you may feel the need to say too much. Don’t ruin your work with mundane details of every single step your character is taking, just to move the story along. If what you are saying doesn’t move the story arc to the next place then it is unnecessary to give the entire minute nail biting fragments of dust. If you’re a reader, do you want to know how Timmy got from the bed to the breakfast table? Step by painstaking step?

Sometimes this HELPS to move a story along but if it hinders it, then cut it out of the story all together.

Then there is the time when you can say too little to the reader and he is left scratching his head. You have to make the connections for him/her so that he is getting a clear picture of what you’re writing. If Timmy is walking to his car, maybe we don’t want to know he glanced at the phone on his way out. That he stopped to pick up his keys and saw yesterday’s unopened mail. He may have even patted Toby, his dog, before he finally took the needed steps to get to the garage and into the car.

Timmy went to the car and drove off in a hurry. Flurries of concrete stirred in the wake of his screeching tires.

You see? Timmy made it to the car. The reader KNOWS he was in a hurry or angry. (That’s for the story) But Timmy made it to the car without miniscule details following him.

Now get writing! Be it a blog, an article, a tell-all novel, a short story or a poem. Ahhh poetry…that’s a topic for another day.
Keep an eye out for the manufactured look of your work. Make it stand out as special and maybe you too will become the next Great American Author!
Hey, we can dream can’t we?

"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night."
Edgar Allan Poe

Monday, June 23, 2008

Is WRITING your Passion?

Are you too busy to write?

I often hear that one is just too busy to sit down and write. A friend of mine says if you sit idle for one second, that second can be used to WRITE. Do you take your child to the playground? Take a note pad with you, and scribble your heart out! One word doesn’t make a sentence but it does create an idea.

Example: Walk. What image is conjured in your mind when you read that word? It is only one word but it conjures so many images. Are many people walking? Is it you alone on a path? Is a walk a morning routine that you have made a useful part of your day?

Write. What image does that summon up in your mind? Is it YOU that you see, sitting behind the keyboard tapping out words that are making sentences growing into an article, surpassed the article limit and turned into a full blown short story?

Action. Now that’s a tough one because in my mind’s eye this brings too many images. But most of all it brings ME into action. I place myself in many scenes, whether it is walking, running, swimming, playing or driving, I am building a story using me. But wait, I see others in action too. They’re talking, whispering, shouting, eating and moving.

Now I have something to build!

My morning walk begins in the park. I see two women walking in front of me. I’ll give them names Mary and Judy. Mary and Judy are taking their morning walk when a dog leaps out of the bushes and jumps on one of them. The dog is not being playful , he is on the attack. From out of nowhere arrives a man on the scene calling out to his dog, Whimsy.

"Whimsy, you bad dog." He takes the leash that Whimsy still has around her neck and Jack begins pulling him off the scared woman. I watch as the three of them (four if you include Whimsy) begin talking (not Whimsy of course.) Whimsy has begun her playful look-at-me tail wagging episode and from a short distance I can see the apologetic Jack making amends.

Now they all begin walking down the path, making a bee-line for the café that is ready and waiting for the morning commuters. They head in that direction and I can only imagine what will take place next.

Did you just read all that? From a simple walk, a simple action, I made characters, built on the tension, and gave three (four if you count Whimsy a part of the scene) characters a chance to bloom into a story. It is THAT simple!

So what are you waiting for? Time? Time is not going to last forever you know! If you don’t take action NOW, there might never be enough time for you to find the passion bubbling within you to be all that you can be! And that is the passionate writer you always dreamed that you would one day become.

Now find some classes (WVU is a great start) Find critique groups, get some imperative feedback, read others work and comment on what you read. Only then will you understand all the little cogs that are in the workings of a writer’s mind! And that my friend, is YOUR passionate mind

Friday, June 20, 2008

Are YOU a Writer?

Work like a Horse!

I know a lot of people would like to be writer. They sit and tap on the keys or write with the Neanderthal pen and paper, but is what you write consistent with what publishers want?

I am a poetic person so when I write, my language can be very full of imagery. The water doesn’t just glimmer in my eyes it sparkles with an effervescence of lucidity. Punctuation is another key factor to keep an eye out for. Never take it for granted that YOU know what is right or wrong when writing that short story or article.

I have a friend in Helsinki who does short articles for the newspaper there, and when she asks me to look at her work, I have to remember that the requirements are for ENGLISH not American English. There is a difference. In English form (and Canadian) I may labour all the live long day. But in proper American English, I labor all the live long day.

To the left of this blog, What a Writer Need’s you will find an extremely helpful link to your GRAMMAR. Guide to Grammar & Writing AND Grammar Slammer. They are helpful in that they give you some idea of where and WHEN to use a comma properly, when to hyphenate, and when NOT to over-hyphenate. In the blog world, many people are reading what you write, but is what you’re saying making any sense to the reader? Do you do a spell-check to make sure you don’t look like a first grade student

The internet is over populated with acronyms but to become a successful writer the acronyms have to be tossed out the window. You want to be taken seriously so show some professionalism and do your homework before you begin writing your blog.

Now don’t go picking out all of my horrendous grammar mistakes because we ALL make them. A blog is the best place to make them. But in the real world of publishing (the ink, paper and pen field) your grammar expertise is a welcome sight to an editor.

The world can be seen through many windows, preferably you allow your reader to see through a clear window instead of the fog-laden murky window. As changes in the atmosphere causes changes in the weather, so does the changes in people reflect a change in style of writing. But one thing has remained and that would be proper etiquette of the written word.

To be taken seriously, don’t let someone else do your work for you. Achieve your dream by striving to be the best you can be. In a world of turmoil be a voice of the future. Lead one person down the path of enlightenment, write about it to the best of your ability and take pride in all that you do! One day…all your hard work will pay off!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tell me your story...

Everybody has a story…

Are you one of the people who think that you have no story to tell? I’ve heard so many times in my life from many different people in many walks of life, "Have I got a story to tell you!" Me, being a writer has the urge to say, "Do tell!" But more often than not I just listen.

Listening to people tell me of their day, their past, their hopes for the future all spurn in me ideas to write. Normally I think to myself, ‘What if this were to happen or what if that were to happen?’ and then I go to my keyboard and write.

Writing for me has become my right arm, without it I’d be a hopeless mess. I take all the whispered tales I hear and turn them into my own. Not necessarily using the persons entire tale but I gather a moral from the story, write about it putting in my own characters and from there the idea has spawned in me the ability to build a story.

Every story should have a beginning, a middle and an end. It is a little like building a house out of brick instead of straw. If we construct the story from a sound foundation and build it layer by layer (the structure, the outer walls, the inner walls) we can finally conclude that we have sealed our story with a firm design and are ready to show it to the world. That would be after we furnish the house (story) with lots of imagery using our senses!

We have five senses to display in our story (some use six.) We have sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and the sixth being the unknown! In the construction phase you want to SEE the house being built, what sounds do you hear while it is being shaped? Do you smell sawdust in the air? Apple pies being baked at the neighbors, wafting by tickling your nose? Can you almost taste the newly lain sod? Will you explain how the new carpet feels under your bare toes?

Now dapple in the unknown elements, mix it all together and you’ve built a house (story) out of brick! Leaving all of these integral elements out of your story, you will see a house made out of straw and slowly thread by thread it will fall apart and never be seen by anyone.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Poetry Sunday ~ A Summer's Breeze

A Summer's Breeze
All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp

A summer's breeze has passed my way,

lending me the soft scent of newly fallen rain.

Warm in procession,

it carries me to loftier times.

Memories forgotten;

Days of youth begotten.

A summer's breeze can melt my heart

while unleashing the swift laps of my hair,


Looking on in admiration

I watch the trees flow in an endless haze.

I think of younger days.

A summer's breeze has caught my attention.

I firmly stand to inhale the flux of air,

as it penetrates my skin, my mind.

It holds me in it's bosom

comforting me; caressing me.

Remembering days that use to be.

All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Change Making Changes

A World of Change:

I can go on and on about what is wrong in the world today. Society, moral decline, fruitless anger and hate, but can I find some of the good in the world? I will seek it out, and let you all know so that we as a community of positive people may have a hand in changing this ever-changing world.

from a mom… "We raised, as a school, thousands and thousands of cans of food for the hunger collation before Christmas, My kids donated and went to the homeless shelter to deliver their donations themselves."
from the frontlines in Iraq, there appears to be a shift in the soldiers negativity to something positive when each one saves a life. They give a life to save one and that is an exemplary gift of theirs.

In Iowa, I watch as devastation runs on the screen like butter on asphalt. Streaming on the bottom of the screen or whether it is the front story, I see glimmers of hope. Yes the people have lost almost everything but they have not lost their spirit of hope or pride in moving forward. Hands reaching out to help, offerings of assistance are taken, state to state, hands stretch out across the land to assist. I find that positively beautiful!

On a closer to home level, at Round Grove United Church of Christ, they are feeding the less fortunate children twice a week, all with the aid of volunteers pitching in to do their part. They make the lunches, deliver to the needy children, and the church is a proud sponsor of CCA . Christian Community Action of Denton County Texas:

Mission Statement
In the spirit of Jesus Christ, Christian Community Action ministers to the poor by providing comprehensive services that alleviate suffering, bring hope and change lives.
Christian Community Action serves the residents of Denton County in various areas of service. Including but not limited to food, housing, education, spiritual, Christmas Toy Program, Back to School Program, Summer lunch programs, crisis intervention, and many other issues affecting the community.

On a personal level, what am I doing to make the change? I think my previous post says something about my smile a day campaign, and anyone who knows me, knows I’m keeping my part of the bargain alive! I will help people become better, I will make one person smile a day (if not tons more), I will guide learner’s in the direction that they would like to go, I will also care when no one else will. I am certain to make a change in anyone who knows me and if one day I should know millions of people then I can say that I’ve made a prominent mark on a good proportion of society.

So to this I ask you, my positive friend, what are YOU doing to make a difference in the world? Are you going to sit, looking through those rose colored glasses, peer out over the open span of your window and watch as the suffering continues and pretend that there is nothing that YOU can do?
Always remember, even the smallest of ants…joined together with his friends…can move that rubber tree plant!

Galatians 4:[20] I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

How To Change the World

Have you ever thought about changing the world?

What’s that?

You Can’t?

I had a teacher that used to always tell me that, "CAN’T means you WON’T!" At thirteen those words went right in one ear and out the other, but as I grew and matured, each time I said I can’t I thought to myself, "Can’t means you won’t!" Not being a quitter, I tried my hardest to never say the words, "I can’t."

So when I ask myself the question, "Have you ever thought about changing the world?" I say, "Sure, I’ll do it tomorrow." (Tomorrow never comes!) No seriously, I want to change the world TODAY! So I wake up each day and, look at the beautiful sun, clouds, rain, storms, weather (forget the news) and inhale deeply and think HOW am I going to change the world?
One person at a time! That’s how! But I need to start with ME!

If I am driving down the road and someone cuts in front of me (without a blinker.) Instead of going into a fit of road rage, I shoo that person along and say out loud to no one, "Go ahead you little person in a hurry, go get to where you’re going to." (Assuming they’ll get there alive, driving like a maniac.)

When I’m at the store and the cashier is in a less than friendlier mood, do I grumble at her (because she isn’t giving me MY proper service with a smile?) No, I smile at her, ask her how her day is going, and much to my surprise she responds with a little smile and tells me of her hard day. And guess what else? I actually listen and CARE how her day is going.

I see kids sitting in the one-hundred degree heat. Do I just pass them by without a care? (gripe because they are blocking my way into the door?) No, I ask them if they’d all like a popsicle, go into the house and hand them out by the dozens. (it is always good to stock up on freezie-pops in the summer.) They’re cheap enough and I have made a lot of little kids happy!

There are many more instances that I have the ability to make one person smile within a day. I take on the job of changing the world by making that one person smile and MAYBE they will do the same for someone else. Maybe it will spread like a rapid disease across the land and I can say, "I had a hand in changing the world one person at a time." Will a smile change the world? Maybe, because it is warmth of love that spreads through the heart and surfaces on the face!

This may be a dream of mine to change the world but I figure this, if every single person tries to change the world with me, maybe this will be the best disease to infest America since it was formed!

Have you smiled today? Have you made someone else smile? That is me, doing my work and it is paying off! :-)

1 Cor. 15: [51] Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Lighthouse of Life

Happy Father's Day!!!

Lighthouse of Life

There comes a time in ones life
that changes do occur.
Place one foot in front of the other
We tread while life's a blur.

We turn to strength and guided hands
to show us where to roam.
We look to our father for his armor
our haven; a stable home.

He stands in the shadow of silence
giving advice when we seek.
He lends to us a pillar.
A beacon when we are weak.

On the shore of rocky oceans
His kids are out at sea.
The lighthouse of my youthful years
Was all he gave to me.

He gave me courage to stand afoot,
be strong when seas were rough.
To ride the ebb and flow of life,
Always remaining tough.

At times when tears begin to flow,
to him I would never bother.
I'll stand ashore and see the gleam,
in the eyes of my loving father.

All rights reserved: copyright © joni zipp

A Material World

In a world where material living, plastic money, debt by the thousands, pricey cars, fancy jewelry and the worship of the almighty dollar has taken over, something is getting lost in the course of humanity.

We hunger for big houses, we crave shiny cars, and we long to look good to everyone around us so that we can feel like a whole person. Has anyone ever heard of the term humility? Has anyone ever gotten down on their knees and thanked God for allowing them to LIVE and BREATHE, never-the-less have a roof over their head! Does it need all these things to fit into society?

I grew up with a mother who loved shopping beyond her limit. She would spend money, making us six kids look like we were the next big ticket to fame. We always had shoes on our feet, clothes on our back and a roof over our head. My dad worked forty hours a week as did my mother. We never had a big fancy house, far from it, we lived a meager life.

I watched as bankruptcy swarmed in and tried to break her, but I also watched a man and woman surge ahead with a cloud hanging over their head the size of Texas. Because she didn’t have it as a child, she wanted her kids to have it, and at any cost!

As I watched in close proximity, I learned from their pitfalls. I never wanted in life. Sure I wanted a roof over my head, food on my plate and shoes on my feet. As long as I had those things the rest of the materials would just have to pass me by. They were NEEDS not WANTS!

To this day, as a mature woman, I want for nothing. Nothing that my Heavenly Father hasn’t already provided for me. I have no desire for a big fancy house, I don’t yearn for a fancy car, I don’t prance around bedazzled with jewelry, I would never scar my body and taint it with a tattoo. I want for nothing, yet all of my needs are met. I am a living breathing entity that has everything in the world. That is everything I could ever possibly NEED!

All of my life I have had everything I’ve ever needed. Why can’t a materialistic society see it,embrace it, love it? Why does society feed off of the negative energy that comes along with WANTS? Are they so ingratiated with having everything at their fingertips met that they leave humility behind? They would rather lose their soul, their dignity, and their honor, all for the love of what, evil? I’ll remain humble all the rest of my days, and teach MY CHILD to be the same and hopefully the world can change one generation at a time!

1 Peter 5: [5] Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Friday, June 13, 2008


The winds of change sweep through the land making its stand upon every man. Women are there sweeping the floor, no more caring for the child they bore. They live life working where the man once held the head of household, now the woman rule’s as man grows old. Cold is the wind that breezes through, the change it quivers the land to stew.

Does anyone care that life will be lost, no frost for the pumpkin is what it will cost. The dehydrated land will no longer stand as the pivotal elemental force that which we command. In our hand is clay to mold, to hold, be bold, gallantly told. As ages sway from right and wrong what is lost is song, while all along the darkness pilfers our very being as what I’m seeing becomes manifest.

I decide what to say, in my own way nothing relevant to hold any sway. I play with words like the flight of birds, hold them in my hand as on crooked legs they stand. But I will give them the strength to soar, above this fruitless lure. I’ll hear the song, lift my ear to the throng of melody to carry me through my day and maybe, I will finally get a chance to fly into the sky where I belong.

Thursday, June 05, 2008



Hope is that word that many would rather stay away from. Hope defined is a belief in a positive outcome related to the events and circumstances in one's life. Hope implies a certain amount of despair, wanting, wishing, suffering or perseverance — i.e., believing that a better or positive outcome is possible even when there is some evidence to the contrary.

As an optimist I generally believe that people and events are inherently good, so that most (and I do mean most) situations work out in the end for the best. I have hope in humankind.
In a world of deepened darkness I see the light.

When someone goes out to look at the night sky and they say, "It sure is dark out her." I say, "No, it is brilliantly lit by all the far away fireflies dancing in the cosmos!"
When someone says, "Looks like rain." I say, "It will surely pass because hidden behind those thick clouds is a sun with the power to light the earth."

We live in a world where people are more willing to accept the darker forces of nature than see the light. Nestled within each generation since the beginning of time, there stood an erect leader that held within his/her grasp the power of giving people a light at the end of the tunnel; not necessarily political leaders but general people who were optimistic for the future to come.

Sure generations are full of negative feeding people. Would we be where we were today if people only accepted positive actions as a way of life? Would we know the man Pontius Pilot if there had been no Jesus Christ? Do we accept the darkened criminal who houses hate over the powerful emotion of love?

Did you even know that love in and of itself can move mountains? I know I know, I live in a world where love is far and few in between. Love is no longer what makes the world go round. Love is buried in the depths of the sea, lying on the ocean floor in the many grains of sand.

Hope is a part of the love that surfaces from time to time in the art of the sand castle. Love is the person who took the time to appreciate every single grain. Hope is the building up of an influential power. Hate is the destructive hierarchical enemy that wants to suck the life out of every living breathing organism on the face of earth.

Imagine if you will a night sky without stars, an earth with no sun, paper without any words, life without hope. Close your eyes… what do you see, An elaborate abyss of darkness--a world without love? But notice when your eyes are closed the shadows dancing and swaying like lovers doing the waltz can be seen and if you know why, it is because the Light will NEVER leave you ALONE!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The World In Chaos?

What is the world coming to?

I sit here on this glorious morning contemplating the years ahead. I’m still young enough to embrace the life I live but old enough to know better? The world is an ever-changing place like a kaleidoscope, there are many shimmering colors all colliding—vying for attention.
Take the weather for example. We in the US have been hit with over 800 tornadoes since the beginning of the year and that is suppose to be some kind of record. Then there is the weather across the nations. I see hurricanes, tsunami’s, earthquakes all rattling the earth like marbles in a jar.

Then we have humans. The ignorance of the human being is at an all time precedent high. We have killings, pillaging, rape, and a feeding frenzy of neglect. Neglect of the fellow human being. Devoid emotional beings and lets not forget the political ignorance across the nations.

I wonder where this all began. Oh yeah when Eve decided to bite into a forbidden apple? We could place blame on her but then again why didn’t human beings strive for something better when we realized the error. Why do we allow the evil to seep into our veins and run a course through our bodies?

I have striven all my life to become a better person and to be different. And that is what I get when I meet someone, they will actually say, "You’re weird." ie: different. Then that is good right? But it gets lonely being different in this world where every one conforms to one another allowing the greed, selfishness, unrighteousness to become who they are. They are leaving the mark of ill-bred children behind to pick up where they left off and in turn the world breeds hate and corruption at a rapid rate.

I’m wondering when all of this is going to come to a grinding halt, smack everyone up alongside the head, and make them AWARE of all that is WRONG in the world! As the nations sleep, there promises to be a wake-up call. Are you going to be asleep when it happens? Or are you still going to walk around saying, "That won’t happen in my lifetime?" or "I’ll worry about it when it happens." or for the Atheists, " It’s all a part of evolution. So what?" I’m afraid that it is not EVOLUTION, it is a REVOLUTION between CREATOR and CREATED. I just know who is going to win this one! Align your frequency to the right channel so in the end, you just might see everything crystal clear!

Revelation 18: [5] For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.[6] Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.[7] How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.[8] Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.[9] And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,